Author Topic: Engineer's Disease  (Read 13421 times)

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Online Simon

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2014, 12:06:11 pm »
I find myself very irritated when someone comes to see me at work to "tell me about their products" but who clearly just wants to sell them and has no idea of what he can offer other than the spiel he has in front of him.
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Offline mrflibble

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2014, 12:17:15 pm »
Sometimes I wish I could just sit back and enjoy the show, but it's just not gonna happen.
But you are enjoying the show, it's just a different one.
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2014, 04:41:56 pm »
I find myself very irritated when someone comes to see me at work to "tell me about their products" but who clearly just wants to sell them and has no idea of what he can offer other than the spiel he has in front of him.
I think one can still keep his honor after hiding under the desk from a salesman.
 

Online Simon

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2014, 05:23:12 pm »
Well had a guy pop in on his way to london who kept banging on about their ability to make custom military switches when all I was asking about was standard switches that did not cost the earth and had decent lead times.
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Offline mrflibble

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2014, 05:38:15 pm »
Well had a guy pop in on his way to london who kept banging on about their ability to make custom military switches when all I was asking about was standard switches that did not cost the earth and had decent lead times.
So tell him the switches are budgeted at XYZ. If he can provide custom blah switches within that budget then great. If not ...  :-//

Why let a random sales droid enthusiastic sales representative be your problem when there are much more interesting problems to chose from?
 

Online Simon

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2014, 05:39:29 pm »
Well in my definition of a problem, he's not a problem, just a nuisance  :-DD
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2014, 05:49:46 pm »
Cold calling salespeople are always there, the trick is in getting to the point, then disengaging. Those who call from call centres tryimng to seel insurance or credit cards i tend to have very short shrift for though, especially if calling from a private number. A special pox on those who are using junk VOIP with echo, delay and a bandwidth close to zero and a high noise floor.

A placing into an iron bull for those scammers trying to install malware on your computers, and who call you at 11PM. I have learned a few Urdu swear words for them.
 

Offline djacobow

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2014, 05:51:26 pm »
This.

I don't think most people understand that some of this are more or less doing this ALL THE TIME with everything around us.

I can't even remember ever going to a rock concert without giving some thought to the sound system. The other day I was on BART (the local transit system) and was wondering about the power electronics and control system, especially given the different sounds the motors made at different power levels. I actually Googled it and learned more when I got to my desk.

I do wish I could turn it off sometimes.


One symptom of one form of engineer's disease...

As an engineer, when I go to Disneyland or any other amusement park, I pay lots of attention to how they do the things they do.  The strobe effects, the use of polarizers, Pepper's ghost, the layout of queues for people waiting, the electrical cables, the locations of restrooms (always nearby, but never prominent), the audio systems, the use of forced perspective, the ways of handling crowd flow, the mechanics of rides, the safety devices on rides, the ways of hiding big rides in big buildings with only a small decorative entrance visible to the public, all the technical details.

Sometimes I wish I could just sit back and enjoy the show, but it's just not gonna happen.
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2014, 05:52:48 pm »
Part of the job is working out who to invite into your office and who to refuse, and doing so in a way which doesn't offend or close off avenues which you may need to explore in future.

Normally I simply explain that I prefer to meet if, and only if, I have a specific product requirement at the time. I often give the potential visitor something to go away and research - like, for example, what switches can you offer that fit an envelope X x Y x Z mm and are rated to 100,000 actuations or more - and make it clear that the objective of the meeting is to discuss that specific product.

You still get the waffle, of course, but sometimes it can be helpful, especially if they know enough about your business to identify what's likely to be useful and what isn't. And at least you've spent a significant proportion of the time on the actual problem you need to solve there and then, which won't be the case if you've not allowed your visitor to come prepared.

Online Simon

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2014, 05:58:08 pm »
oh it was an invited call, my tech director put him onto me as the person to speak to about electrical products but then he turned up empty handed so i listened, gleaned all I could, there we some interesting sidelines they do but as it was left to me to write to him and tell him specific part numbers of another supplier i need matching, well I'm way to busy to do that right now, so if and when I get time I'll send him the info.
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Online AndyC_772

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2014, 06:00:24 pm »
Those who call from call centres tryimng to seel insurance or credit cards i tend to have very short shrift for though, especially if calling from a private number.

I just hang up. It feels oddly empowering; when we speak to friends and colleagues on the phone, there's a certain etiquette to ending the call which we all observe. We close down the conversation, say goodbye, wait for the other party to acknowledge, then terminate the call.

On the other hand, simply cutting someone off mid sentence is, IMHO, sufficiently rude to make the point, yet at the same time, quick and inoffensive. My time is not free, and if someone cold calls me to try and sell a credit card / PPI claim / ambulance chasing service / whatever, without at least knowing my name, they can't expect me to devote any of that time to them.

I like to hope that, just for a moment, the caller is sufficiently surpri<click><brrr.....>

Online Simon

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2014, 06:07:11 pm »
yep likewise, I keep getting calls asking for our finance director or MD, they even have the audacity to ask for a mobile if i say they are unavailable. These companies now won't tell you who they are, I say they are not available, if they are genuine they will tell me something of what it is about, give me a message or ask to be called back on a number, if they say ok I'll call back later I try to hang up before they do just so that they get the message, after a few runs of this I find the phone line cutting as soon as I answer it. I am not the bloody receptionist and why mine is one of only two in the office to ring on the general number I don't know. As it happens I really have no time for these people and that ringing in my face all day is damn annoying.
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Offline bwat

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2014, 06:20:33 pm »
Don't hang up, just put down the receiver on the nearest surface as soon as you realise it's an unwanted sales call, then merrily go about your business. If there's one thing sales people hate, it's silence. You and I may have the saying "silence is golden" but sales people are taught "silence is brown". Actually silence is a great weapon in any conversation you just want to kill. Try it sometime and see how quickly the conversation spins 180 degrees from dialogue, through monologue, to silent confusion on your interlocuter's behalf.

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Online Simon

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2014, 06:25:15 pm »
Well unfortunately it takes a bit too long to determine if it's genuine or not so i have to play half safe incase i upset the wrong person but a no name caller from a no name company, with no reason to call just tries to slam the phone in your face so I aim to do it first to get the point across and what little satisfaction I can
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Offline Neilm

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2014, 07:02:35 pm »
Back in the late ninetys I had one of those cold calls expanding on how the internet was revolutionising sales. He didn't let me get a word in after I said we did engineering. It was all, "think how many people could buy your products" - not that I minded as it was almost home time.

After about 10 minutes of this he finally asked what sort of products we did. I could hear him deflate when I said we developed weapon systems and I couldn't tell him more than that as it was all classified. >:D
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Online Simon

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2014, 09:36:34 pm »
haha, yea we play that one from time to time.
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Offline Dave Turner

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2014, 09:59:14 pm »
One of the best salesmen I encountered used to leave an advance message to say he would be in the area on xday in the local pub at lunchtime. He got his lunch and anyone who wanted a meeting could arrange one. No time wasted on either side. Note that this was before mobile phones and current politically correct policies.

That man got more sales by not being pushy. The only time he ever asked for a meeting was when he due to retire and wanted to introduce his successor, who did not benefit by his instruction.


 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2014, 07:22:25 am »
If I get an unwanted sales call, I turn it around and try to sell something to them and have a little "fun"
And I tell them, if they want me to listen to what they have to sell, they first have to listen to me.

At one time I was successful in selling something to a young salesperson but I did not buy
anything from him. A few hours later I got a nasty phone call from his mother.

Well, usually these people will never call me again and I don't even have to tell them to take
me of their list.
There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Online Simon

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2014, 07:36:46 am »
Bit hard to sell a sales rep a huge radiator for a military vehicle or rock crusher
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Offline alanb

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2014, 11:07:22 am »
Well unfortunately it takes a bit too long to determine if it's genuine or not so i have to play half safe incase i upset the wrong person but a no name caller from a no name company, with no reason to call just tries to slam the phone in your face so I aim to do it first to get the point across and what little satisfaction I can

This is what you need to do with unsolicited phone calls
http://youtu.be/kAb8vGSRBoE
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: Engineer's Disease
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2014, 11:10:34 am »
Reminds me of the 80s British Comedy "Open All Hours" where there was a vacuum salesman who never lost a sale left and drove off with a box of groceries and no sale.
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